Festive traditions around the world vary hugely. In parts of Guatemala for instance, the dance of Los Gigantes is held to mark the occasion.
In Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, Christmas Mass can still attract a large crowd.
Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican was interrupted when a woman leapt barriers and grabbed Pope Benedict.
Although a secular country, China has more than 20 million Christians, many of whom turn out for Christmas prayers.
Christmas parties, such as this one in Bangladesh, take places among communities all over the world regardless of faith or religion.
Nigerian Christian pilgrims pray at the grotto in the Church of the Nativity, believed to be the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ.
A Catholic woman lights a candle at the St Esprit Church during the Christmas Mass at midnight, in Harbiye, Istanbul, on Christmas Eve.
A priest leads mass on Christmas Eve in Baghdad. Churches in Iraq have come under attack from insurgents in recent weeks.
US soldiers pray during a Christmas Eve candlelight service at Al Faw Palace in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Christmas Eve. More than 400 military and civilian personnel turned out for the event.
While services are held by Christians to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, for some Christmas comes as a welcome mid-winter break. Here, a family from Wales trade the cold UK for Christmas on Bondi Beach, Australia.
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